College of Computing and Digital Media

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DePaul's College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) is organized into three schools: the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), the School of Computing (SoC), and the School of Design (SoD) featuring degree programs designed to keep pace with the latest developments in technology while remaining grounded in the liberal arts. DePaul CDM has a reputation for offering an extraordinary selection of degree programs and courses from traditional computer science, information systems, and cybersecurity to game development, film and television, animation, and graphic design. At CDM, students will experience a dynamic interdisciplinary curriculum and the opportunity to satisfy their academic curiosity through a wide range of minors that reflect the diverse offerings of CDM's curriculum.

Contact Us

DePaul University
College of Computing and Digital Media
243 South Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604
312 362 8381

Administration & Faculty

Administration

David Miller - Dean
Lucia Dettori - Associate Dean
Raffaella Settimi-Woods - Associate Dean
Theresa Steinbach - Associate Dean
Jennifer McClelland - Assistant Dean of Budget Administration
Xiaoping Jia - Director of Academic Scheduling
Denise Nacu - Director of the School of Design
Gary Novak - Director of the School of Cinematic Arts
Jacob Furst - Director of the School of Computing
Denise Nacu - Director of the School of Design
Steve Rubinow - Director of the Institute for Professional Development

Academic Advising

​The College believes that academic advising is necessary for the vitality and success of the student's education.  Students are assigned a faculty advisor prior to the first term of enrollment in the college.  All students are encouraged to meet with their faculty advisor at least once each year for assistance in planning a course of study that best reflects their academic and career interests, skills, and lifestyle. Students have access to professional staff advisors in the CDM Academic Success Center to assist with providing interpretations of university policy, academic success strategies and support services.

Advising Staff

John Glatz - Director of Advising
Katie Schiller - Associate Director of Advising
Monica Cano - Academic Advisor
Kevin Cato - Academic Advisor
Lunden Gregory - Academic Advisor
Veronica Dillard - Academic Advisor

Undergraduate Academics

The College of Computing and Digital Media offers BA, BS, and BFA degrees at the Undergraduate level and MA, MS, MFA, and PhD degrees at the Graduate level. An option to pursue a combined Bachelor/Master's degree is also available for qualified students.

Academic Policies

All students are expected to be familiar with and are responsible for the policies included in the DePaul University Undergraduate Handbook and CDM web site. 

As a student, you assume the responsibility to know and meet both the general and specific policies and deadlines outlined in this catalog and handbook.

Honors Program

Most students follow the Liberal Studies Program to meet their general education requirements.  However, students accepted into the Honors Program fulfill general education requirements through an alternative set of courses.  A student in the Honors Program pursuing a primary major in the College of Computing and Digital Media follows the requirements below:

Honors Core

Course Title Quarter Hours
HON 110HONORS DISCOVER CHICAGO4
or HON 111 HONORS EXPLORE CHICAGO
HON 100RHETORIC AND CRITICAL INQUIRY4
HON 101WORLD LITERATURE *4
HON 102HISTORY IN GLOBAL CONTEXTS *4
HON 104RELIGIOUS WORLDVIEWS AND ETHICAL PERSPECTIVES4
HON 105PHILOSOPHICAL INQUIRY4
HON 180DATA ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS (if indicated) 14
HON 201STATES, MARKETS, AND SOCIETIES4
HON 203SEMINAR IN MULTICULTURALISM4
HON 302JUNIOR SEMINAR IN SOCIAL JUSTICE4

*Advanced placement credit will fulfill Honors Core requirements as listed:

Science

Students with a lab science requirement for the major will replace this course with one additional Honors Approved Elective.

Math

Students who do not have a math requirement for the major will complete HON 180: Data Analysis and Statistics.  Students in a BFA program may replace HON 180 with LSP 120: Quantitative Reasoning.

Arts
  • HON 205
  • One applied, performance, or studio course from approved list.
  • BFA Animation majors do not have a fine arts elective requirement for the Honors Program and will replace HON 205 with the Arts & Literature requirement. 
  • BFA students in majors outside of Animation are required to complete HON 205, but they do not have a dine arts elective requirement for the Honors Program.
Language
  • Three courses of intermediate or advanced language study.
  • BFA majors do not have a language requirement for the Honors Program.

Students who meet the proficiency requirement by placing at the 200-level of a language may complete the language requirement with one year of a beginning language study.

Junior Seminar

The Honors Program is committed to developing students’ knowledge and cultural awareness so they may respect and learn from difference.  Honors students meet the multicultural requirement by completing HON 302.

Senior Capstone
Course Title Quarter Hours
Select one of the following:4
HONORS SENIOR SEMINAR
HONORS SENIOR SEMINAR IN SERVICE LEARNING
HONORS SENIOR THESIS

Students who choose to complete an Honors Senior Thesis must have their project approved at least one term prior to executing the project. To gain approval for a senior thesis, students must complete an application, including a project proposal, signed by two faculty advisors. In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the program, the thesis should attempt to move outside the boundaries normally associated with one particular discipline and should be supervised by two readers from different academic fields. While the final product must be a substantial piece of work building on the student’s accumulated knowledge and new research, specific requirements for each thesis will depend on the nature of the project. See the Director or Associate Director for an application and thesis materials.  Students may opt to enroll in HON 300: Honors Research Seminar (a two-credit elective) to receive dedicated guidance as they prepare the thesis project.

Honors Approved Electives

Approved Electives are designed to help students achieve expertise in a field outside of the major.  These courses are chosen in consultation with an Honors advisor to achieve specific academic or professional goals.   CDM students are allotted between 0 and 2 Approved Electives, depending on their major and concentration.  Students should consult their Degree Progress Report (DPR) to determine the number of Approved Electives they are required to fulfill.

Experiential Learning

Honors students fulfill the university’s requirement for Experiential Learning (EL) through completion of an internship course, a service learning course, or through participation in a study abroad program. The course will verify completion of the EL requirement and be placed where appropriate in the student’s academic program – either as a major requirement, open elective, Honors Approved Elective, or (in the case of HON 351) an Honors core requirement.    

Major Field Adjustments 

In addition, participation in the University Honors Program may affect the requirements for a student's major field. The following adjustments may occur:

  • BFA majors in the Honors Program will replace the Honors Approved Elective with one of the required Arts & Literature courses. The second Arts & Literature course requirement is waived.
  • CDM majors with major requirements placed in the liberal studies section of the degree will have their Honors Approved Elective requirement adjusted accordingly so that the number of Honors requirements coheres with the number of liberal studies requirements.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or higher in HON 100 and HON 110 or HON 111 is required to remain in the Honors Program.

A grade of C- or higher is required to pass the following courses: HON 100, HON 350, HON 351, and HON 395.

Program Combination Restrictions

Students majoring in certain degree programs are forbidden from pursuing certain secondary/double majors:

Primary Major Forbidden Secondary/Double Major(s)
BFA Animation – Cinema Concentration BFA Animation – Game Art Concentration
BFA Animation – Game Art Concentration BFA Animation – Cinema Concentration
BS Computer Science BS Game Programming; BS Information Technology; BS Math and Computer Science
BS Data Science BA Data Science (CSH)
BA Film and Television BFA Film and Television (all concentrations)
BFA Film and Television (all concentrations) BA Film and Television
BS Game Programming BS Computer Science (all concentrations); BS Math and Computer Science
BS Information Technology BS Computer Science (all concentrations); BS Math and Computer Science
BS Math and Computer Science BS Computer Science (all concentrations); BS Game Programming; BS Information Technology

Students majoring in certain degree programs are forbidden from pursuing certain minors:

Major Forbidden Minor(s)
BA Animation Animation
BFA Animation – Cinema Concentration Animation
BFA Animation – Game Art Concentration Animation
BS Computer Science Computer Science; Information Technology
BS Cyber-Physical Systems Engineering Computer Science
BS Data Science Data Science
BA Film and Television Digital Cinema; Television Production
BFA Film and Television – Directing Concentration Digital Cinema; Television Production
BFA Film and Television – Cinematography Concentration Digital Cinema; Television Production
BFA Film and Television – Creative Producing Concentration Digital Cinema; Television Production
BFA Film and Television – Documentary Concentration Digital Cinema; Documentary; Television Production
BFA Film and Television – Editing Concentration Digital Cinema; Television Production
BFA Film and Television – Production Design Concentration Digital Cinema; Television Production
BFA Film and Television – Screenwriting Concentration Digital Cinema; Screenwriting; Television Production
BFA Film and Television – Sound Concentration Digital Cinema; Sound Design; Television Production
BFA Film and Television – Visual Effects Concentration Digital Cinema; Television Production; Visual Effects
BS Game Design Game Design
BS Game Programming Computer Science; Game Design
BFA Graphic Design Graphic Design
BS Information Systems Information Systems; Information Technology
BS Information Technology Computer Science; Information Technology
BS User Experience Design User Experience Design
BS Math and Computer Science Computer Science; Information Technology
BS Network Engineering and Security Network Technology

Students pursuing certain minors are forbidden from pursuing certain other minors:

Primary Minor Forbidden Secondary/Double Minor(s)
Computer Science Information Technology
Information Technology Computer Science
Television Production Digital Cinema

Online Learning

Many courses are available for review and playback via the CDM Course Online playback system (COL). If a course is COL-enabled, any student registered in the course has access to the course playback. Students are strongly encouraged to utilize the COL resource wherever available. Some undergraduate courses are offered online. CDM is pleased to offer an online degree completion plan for undergraduate transfer students in BS in Information Technology and BS in Computer Science. 

Graduate Academics

The College of Computing and Digital Media offers BA, BS, and BFA degrees at the Undergraduate level and MA, MS, MFA, and PhD degrees at the Graduate level. An option to pursue a combined Bachelor/Master's degree is also available for qualified students.

CDM Graduate Academic Student Handbook

In addition to the DePaul University Graduate Student Handbook, the College of Computing and Digital Media Graduate Student Handbook includes the rules and regulations for its graduate programs. Additional academic information and regulations applicable to our graduate programs appear in specific graduate program sections.

As a graduate student, you assume the responsibility to know and meet both the general and specific policies and deadlines outlined in this catalog and handbook.

Specific degree completion information can be found on each program page.

Dismissal / Probation

Master's Degree and MFA Degree students are required to meet all GPA requirements for their declared program. If a student's cumulative GPA falls below 2.5 (3.0 for MFA in Film and Television Directing or MFA in Screenwriting) the student may be allowed to complete an additional 16 credits or 3 quarters (whichever comes first) to return to good academic standing. If at the conclusion of this time period the cumulative GPA remains below the required minimum, the student may be dismissed from the program.

Doctoral student progress will be evaluated annually by faculty members in the respective program committee. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.5 or better to remain in good standing in the program. Any course grade below B- is unsatisfactory and will not be counted toward degree requirements. The program committee will ask a student to withdraw from the doctoral program if the committee members judge that the student is not satisfactorily progressing toward the degree.

Evaluation and Credit / Limitations

Using Undergraduate Credit for Graduate Courses

All courses numbered 100 through 399 are considered to be at the undergraduate level and are not accepted for graduate credit.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is not widely accepted at the graduate level. However, in certain circumstances and with the approval of the student's faculty advisor, it will be considered.  In all instances:

  • A maximum of two (2) courses will be considered for transfer into any CDM graduate degree program.
  • Any course that has already been applied toward a degree may not be applied again as transfer credit in a different degree.
  • If approved, the credit transferred to DePaul University applies only to programs offered through the College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM).
  • Credit earned through a program in the Institute for Professional Development (IPD) at DePaul University is considered transfer credit and is subject to all transfer credit policies.
  • In order for a request for transfer credit to be considered, please submit the following materials to the CDM Academic Success Center:
    • An official copy of the transcript from the school where the course was completed.
    • A written statement confirming that the course did not apply towards a previously earned degree.
    • A written statement explaining how this course might apply to your program in CDM.

Graduate level introductory courses, typically numbered between 400 and 419, may not be substituted for any course at any other level.

Second Degree

CDM does not permit admission to more than one (1) graduate program at a time. Under no circumstances may one (1) course be used to satisfy requirements in multiple programs, except for Introductory Courses (i.e., waivable). Students may not repeat the same course for credit in multiple programs. Cross-listed courses are considered to be one course in this policy. Students wishing to apply unused courses from one degree to another must consult with an academic advisor.

Graduation Requirements

Following is a list of degree completion/graduation requirements that may not be waived under any circumstances.

Complete the minimum number of credit hours required for the declared program of study. The minimum required credit hours are:

  • 52 graduate credit hours for MS and MA degrees
  • 64 graduate credit hours for the MFA degrees in Creative Producing, Documentary, and Game Design
  • 68 graduate credit hours for the MFA degree in Screenwriting
  • 79 graduate credit hours for the MFA degree in Animation
  • 96 graduate credit hours of the MFA degree in Film and Television
  • 60 graduate credit hours beyond a master's degree for PhD degrees

Earn a minimum cumulative GPA:

  • Master's and MFA degrees require a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 required for MFA in Film and Television and MFA in Screenwriting)
  • A PhD degree requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5

Satisfy all program specific GPA requirements. See program descriptions for details.

Students pursuing an additional graduate degree may not double count or retake any course that applied toward the completion of a prior graduate degree. If a required course in the second degree was already completed and applied toward a previous degree, the student must meet with a faculty advisor to discuss a new course to be completed and substituted in the new degree. This rule also applies to cross-listed courses, which are considered to be the same course but offered under different subjects.

PhD and MFA graduates must obtain final approval for degree conferral from the designated review committees. Students should consult their faculty advisors regarding this approval.

In addition, students must successfully complete all degree requirements as listed on the program pages of the catalog under which they were admitted. ​​

Grades, Repeating Classes

All grades from all graduate level courses are computed in the cumulative GPA. When a student repeats a graduate level course, both the old and new grades are calculated in the graduate GPA. Grades earned in certificate programs through the Institute for Professional Development are not included in the calculation of the graduate GPA.

Graduation with Distinction

Master of Science degrees will be awarded with distinction to students who earned a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.9 or higher.

Readmission

A student must complete the graduate program requirements in place at the time of the student's first enrollment in the graduate program. A student who changes graduate programs while his/her studies are in progress must complete the requirements in place at the time he or she enrolls in the new program. A student who changes graduate programs during a break between terms (e.g., spring break) follows the requirements in place for the term immediately following the break. A student who applies for readmission will be subject to the program and concentration requirements in place in the enrollment term of readmission.

Registration

All students are expected to enroll in courses according to the deadlines posted in the University Academic Calendar. Exceptions to the enrollment deadline are rarely approved. If a student believes he/she has an extenuating circumstance that warrants consideration of an exception, an appeal may be submitted online via MyCDM.

Graduate students may enroll in only graduate level courses.  Graduate courses are numbered 400-699.

Online learning students MUST register for the appropriate online course section. Failure to register for an online learning section prohibits the student from online learning services, including exam proctoring.

Special Note: Students are NOT allowed to attend a course or utilize online course technology if they are not on the class roster.

CDM does not allow enrollment in closed courses and students are not allowed to attend any courses for which they are not enrolled. Students wishing to enroll in a closed course may elect to add themselves to the course waitlist in campus connect:

  • Waitlists allow students to be auto-enrolled in a class as seats become available.
  • Auto-enrollment from the waitlist occurs hourly during the first week of enrollment and two times per day until the last day to add a class.
  • All waitlists expire after the last day to add a class each term. If not enrolled by this deadline, students are no longer eligible to enroll.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to closely monitor their e-mail accounts if they have any waitlisted courses.

Online Learning

DePaul CDM Online Learning programs are specifically designed to complement the busy lifestyle of working professionals. Our Course Online (COL) lecture playback system brings the unique experience of an on-campus DePaul CDM education to off-campus students, and gives them flexibility in how, when, and where they learn.

We offer many master's degree programs that can be completed entirely online, including:

  • Business Information Technology
  • Game Programming
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • E-Commerce Technology
  • Health Informatics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Systems
  • IT Project Management
  • Network Engineering and Security
  • Predictive Analytics1
  • Software Engineering1

Graduate students who wish to complete their degree through online learning do not register for a special online degree. Rather, they apply for one of our regular degree programs and then sign up for online sections of courses. The degree earned by an online learning student is identical to the degree earned by an on-campus student.

Combined Degrees

Students who meet the admission requirements below may choose to apply to a combined degree program. Interested students should consult their faculty advisor regarding the application procedure. This program allows students to combine many CDM bachelor's degrees with a CDM master's degree following the structure outlined below.

Admission Criteria

  • Minimum of 44 quarter hours earned
  • Minimum of 12 quarter hours earned at DePaul
  • GPA of 3.3 or higher in courses taken at DePaul
  • Endorsement of faculty advisor

In order to apply for the combined degree program, your faculty advisor must send an e-mail recommendation to the CDM Academic Success Center. The recommendation should include your full name, student ID number, and the bachelor's and master's degrees you wish to combine.

Bachelor of Arts in Professional Studies with a Major in Computing students who are enrolled via the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) are also eligible for this program. Interested students who meet the admission criteria for a combined degree should contact Kenn Skorupa in SCPS for more information

Program Structure

Students in the combined degree program take a maximum of three graduate level courses that count toward both their bachelor's and master's degree requirements. Students may enroll in graduate level coursework in the junior and senior year only. Students in the combined degree program will receive the bachelor's degree after meeting all graduation requirements including the minimum credit hours required for graduation.
To earn the master's degree, the student must earn as many additional graduate credit hours as needed to reach the minimum number of graduate credit hours required in that master's degree.
Only CDM courses can be taken as part of this program. Advanced programs (e.g., JD/MS, MFA, and PhD) are not eligible for the combined degree program.

Maintaining Good Standing

Cumulative GPA and course grades will be reviewed after each Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarter.

The student and faculty advisor will be notified when the student's cumulative GPA falls below 3.3 or when the students receives less than a C- in graduate level course.

If a student's cumulative GPA falls below 3.3, the student must earn a term GPA of 3.3 or above in the following quarter to stay in good standing. If the student does not achieve a 3.3 term GPA, then the student will be dismissed from the combined program and resume the traditional B.A./B.S./B.F.A.

If dismissed from the combined degree program after graduate courses have been passed, the graduate courses may only apply to the undergraduate degree. Should the student later be admitted to a graduate program, graduate courses applied to the undergraduate degree many not apply to the graduate program and may not be repeated if they are required in the declared graduate curriculum. Other graduate courses may be substituted in this case.

Designing a Course of Study

It is extremely important that the student and faculty advisor work together on a course of study immediately upon admission to the Combined Degree Program.

This course of study should include the graduate courses to be taken and the undergraduate courses that are replaced by the graduate courses. Failure to put together a solid plan can lead to extra coursework and a lengthening of the Combined Degree program.

It is advisable for the student and the faculty advisor to enter the proposed plan of study in the student communication record on the CDM intranet so it is available to the student and CDM faculty and staff.

Registering for Master's Degree Courses

Combined degree students must meet regularly with their faculty advisor. The faculty advisor will initiate the registration process for all graduate level courses taken during the undergraduate career.

Bachelor's Degree to Master's Degree Transition

In order to be fully admitted to the designated master's program, the student must meet all admission requirements for that program. When preparing to complete the undergraduate portion of the combined degree, students must submit the application for degree conferral for the undergraduate degree by the application deadline. At this time, the students should contact the CDM Academic Success Center about the procedure required to be formally admitted to the declared graduate program.

Admission & Aid

Graduate Admission

Applicants to CDM graduate programs can choose from degrees that span the computing and digital media spectrum, including master's, MFA, and PhD programs. 

Information about admission requirements can be found on the CDM website, under Prospective Students: www.cdm.depaul.edu

CDM does not permit admission to more than one (1) graduate program at a time. Students wishing to pursue a second graduate program must complete the requirements for the first program (i.e., graduate) and then apply to the second program.

​Typically, applicants for the MS programs take about two weeks to process, while MFA and PhD applications will take additional time.

Special Programs

Institute for Professional Development

The College of Computing and Digital Media established the Institute for Professional Development in 1985 to offer certificate programs designed to meet the needs of both individuals and businesses in the Chicagoland area. These non-degree offerings provide intensive training in a wide variety of areas, with each standalone certificate program addressing a different set of theoretical concepts and practical skills. Emphasis is placed on gaining practical experience through a combination of lectures and demonstrations complemented by laboratory exercises and homework assignments. Certificate programs are typically taught by a team of instructors, that includes both full-time faculty and part-time instructors from industry. The programs require a substantial commitment of time, as most meet two nights per week and in the morning on approximately half of the Saturdays during the program.

For a list of current certificate program offerings see: https://www.cdm.depaul.edu/ipd/Pages/default2.aspx.